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Monday, April 12, 2010

Sucker-punch myself? No, thanks.

This morning I got up at 4 AM to make hubby breakfast before he headed out for the week.  I always have trouble going back to sleep when I do this, but I still tried.  This time, part of what kept me awake was a series of thoughts about how we, as women (and especially as mothers) tend to BEAT OURSELVES UP over stupid stuff.

Specifically, this morning, my thoughts ran to all the moms who agonize over things like breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, and epidurals vs. natural birth, etc.  Of course these choices MATTER, but not as much as some folks seem to think they do.  And they are CHOICES, right?

I found myself getting kind of mad remembering a former friend of mine, who is a La Leche League Leader, and obviously very pro-breastfeeding and pro-natural birth.  I actually believe pretty strongly in those things, too, but am not as willing as she always was to IMPOSE my beliefs on others.  I have no problem expressing my own beliefs, but it has never been my place to tell others what they should do - or to make them feel BAD for making a different choice than I would have made. 

This brought me to thoughts of my sister, who is also pregnant right now.  She is due with her 3rd baby just a week and a half before my 4th is due.  With both of her deliveries she had an epidural, and had no problems or complications with this, so its a no-brainer for her to plan for the same thing this time.  And I have no problem with her choice, as it clearly WORKS for her and her family, right?  What I do have a problem with is the way she - and other moms like her - will be careful about who she shares this information with, for fear of being judged. 

Another blogger recently posted about her childbirth class, and how relieved she felt when all the other moms in the class raised their hands when asked who was planning to have an epidural at the hospital.  I'm glad she feels better about her choice now, but it still makes me sad knowing how badly we all NEED reassurance like that.  I can't even count how many times I have felt the same way, but I really SHOULDN'T need anyone else to validate my own choices, right?

Why do we do this?  We are strong, smart, compassionate, AMAZING creatures, and yet we don't have the confidence to simply MAKE a choice and stick by it.

I'm going to do everything I can to stop second-guessing myself, and brush off fears of being judged by others over the choices that I make for MY own family. 

Yes, I want what's best for my children (don't we all?)  But I have to rest easy, knowing that only I can really KNOW what is best for my own family. 

Starting with making the choice to go take a nice long NAP to make up for this morning's lost sleep.

I'm too tired to beat myself up today, anyway.


  1. Good post!

    It would be nice to see all of us mothers/women a lot more confident in our choices. I have no probably saying to anyone that I fully intend to have an epidoral (and anything else they feel the need to give me) as soon as possible.
    I had a very young mother berate me when I told her this not too long ago. Seriously? She asked me a question and I answered it with my opinion. Her response was something along the lines of "so I guess you have no problem with the possibility of becoming paralyzed?" Use your imagination for the tone of voice and facial expressions.

    We all have a right to make our own choices and really, all that matters in the end is that you have a healthy, happy family!

    What I do have a hard time with though is admitting when I need help or when I need to take it easy. I feel so guilty when I have one of those days where I feel like I need to just chill. I'm not quite sure why.

  2. Jessica, I agree that healthy and happy is the goal! :)

    My LLL friend (ex-friend, actually) was really militant about breadstfeeding being the ONLY way, and considered formula feeding a form of child abuse - I hated that she made new mommies feel so guilty for their own decisions!

    I am grateful that breastfeeding worked out for all three of my children, and hope it goes as well with this one - but I will NOT beat myself up if it doesn't work for some reason.

    And as far as pain killers during labor, my biggest issue with them is my own personal issue - I have a crippling fear of needles! Personally, I would rather have the pain of the contractions than the needle that could relieve that pain. :) Weird, I know, but that's me. I have to get bloodwork done tomorrow, and have been psyching myself up for it for over a week now.

    Yes, I am that much of a wimp. And it is MY CHOICE to continue to be a wimp! LOL